Bykov, Vasil’ Vladimirovich
(or Vasilii V. Bykov). Born June 19, 1924, in the village of Bychki; Ushachi Raion, Vitebsk Oblast. Soviet Byelorussian writer.
Bykov was a participant in the Great Patriotic War, which was the source of the themes, plots, and heroes of his works. The staunchness, heroism, and humaneness of the Soviet soldier not only in victories but also in defeats constitute the principal content of Bykov’s novellas The Cry of the Cranes (1960), Pages From the Front (1966), The Third Rocket (1962), An Alpine Ballad (1964), Attack From March Column (Damned Hill, 1968), The Bridge at Krugliansk (1969), and Sotnikov (1970). His novella The Dead Feel No Pain (1966) was subjected to criticism for its abstract and generalized depiction of negative characters (see the article by V. Sevruk, “The Truth About the Great War,” Pravda, Apr. 17, 1966). Bykov has been awarded the Order of the Red Star and various medals.